I now have four-count-’em-FOUR nests to update you on! (Of course my plan was to have twenty or so, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.)
I stayed away from OLLA’s nest for several days, as I promised, so as not to scare the chicks into fledging early; but finally I just had to know if they had fledged yet. As I approached the nest both OLLA and ALGE scolded me—but the nest was empty. I looked around to see why they were angry at me and caught sight of a fledgling in a nearby tree: BABY! I didn’t see BABY’s siblings, but there were lots of trees around, and fledglings can be cryptic if they stay still. BABY was the smallest of the three so if she is fledged and okay, it’s very likely that YAYN and MAYO are doing well too.
Recently I’ve noticed that people are being referred to Tough Little Birds by searching things like “what to do when junco chicks fall out of the nest”—and, of course, finding this blog totally unhelpful. Whoops! I’m fixing that now.
(This will be a regular feature: blurbs about papers I like.)
Today’s paper: “The process and causes of fledging in a cavity-nesting passerine bird, the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)” by L. Scott Johnson, Robin L. Rauch, and Sara N. Dellone. Published in 2004 in Ethology 110, pages 693-705.
Fledging is the act of leaving the nest for the first time. In birds with altricial (helpless, naked, dependent) young, this is a big step: the chicks go from sitting in a nest to flying around like adult birds. Or trying to fly around, anyway. Fledglings often aren’t very good at flying at first.
Start with eggs: